News Archives

Roscoe Clan Donates to AN
Family members challenge skiers

Mick Sheffield, his siblings and his cousins have made a generous $1,100 contribution to the Allegany Nordic equipment fund… and they don’t even ski at Allegany State Park! They want Allegany Nordic to continue to advance the sport of cross country skiing on the Art Roscoe Trails so that the legacy of Art Roscoe will live on.

The Roscoe clan reunited at ASP for the Art Roscoe Loppet in February this year. In the photo above, front row: Craig Roscoe, Tammy  Roscoe, Carrie Sheffield (Mick's daughter). Back row: Dana Roscoe, Heidi Roscoe Shea,  Jack Roscoe (Craig and Tammy's son), Mick Sheffield.

The Roscoe clan reunited at ASP for the Art Roscoe Loppet in February this year. In the photo above, front row: Craig Roscoe, Tammy Roscoe, Carrie Sheffield (Mick’s daughter). Back row: Dana Roscoe, Heidi Roscoe Shea, Jack Roscoe (Craig and Tammy’s son), Mick Sheffield.

This is not the first contribution to Allegany Nordic from Roscoe descendants. Mick and family members from Oakville, Ontario donated $600 two years ago. Mick, grandson of Art Roscoe who lives in Maine, has been following Allegany Nordic since he found our website four years ago.

In his note accompanying the check, Mick Sheffield said, “The Roscoe family in hopes that it will stimulate more donations that can help Allegany Nordic and the Art Roscoe area prosper.”

2012-’13 Annual Report

Allegany Nordic is now about 6 years old and has grown steadily in the last few years. We’ve accomplished a great deal in the way of X-C advocacy and fundraising to the point that it is necessary to take some steps toward ensuring a strong and energetic future. 20081004oThe by-hook-or-by-crook operating procedures used in our formative years suited us well and accomplished much. However, our group and our trails will be better served with more skiers steering the ship.

To this end we held an annual meeting on 5/11with a core group of skiers- Jack Luzier, Chuck Walker, Rob Walk and Jim Whalen. Larry Scherer was with us in spirit. A primary objective of getting the group together was to noodle some better governance and operating procedures and affect a leadership transition. I’m pleased to report that Larry Scherer has agreed to assume the leadership role for Allegany Nordic. He is a truly dedicated skier and very thoughtful person who you have all passed on the trail, whether you recognized him or not. He is a lockport, NY resident and a financial and spiritual contributor to AN. While his distance from the trials may handicap him in his ability to attend meetings with the park, he has excellent organizational skills and can serve well in the visioning and organizing role. Rob Walk agreed to handle donor relations. The summit envelope contribution system that we implemented this year was very successful, so successful that it swamped my administrative responsibilities at the time I wanted to be on the trails. Thankfully, the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation has impeccable records and had passed along names and email addresses of donors for us to add to our records. Jack Luzier has agreed to lead trail work activities. Finally, we agreed to establish bylaws and take our governance and communications up a notch. I will stay involved with the website and equipment.

Here’s a summary of our fundraising activities since we began soliciting contributions in April 2011:

Total contributions* $9,740
Equipment purchases** $4,161
CRCF account balance*** $5,378
* $1,690 raised this winter through trail-side contribution envelopes
** Roller and 2 grooming implements
*** Net of gains/losses and CRCF fees

I’m extremely gratified by the success of our fundraising and the generosity expressed by skiers and others who recognize the Art Roscoe Trails as a wonderful resource worth preserving. In particular, I’m impressed with the level of our success given the relatively low level of development work. I have no doubt there remains tremendous opportunities for additional support of equipment purchases for the trails. Fundraising is a primary reason that Allegany Nordic needs to transition to greater levels of organization and volunteerism.

BALANCE SHEET a/o 8/4/13
Checking account $743.51
Shirts & hats $480.00
Liabilities- 5 yr. URL renewal $120.00

We have very little overhead (internet) and money in the checking account but need to sell hats/shirts.


The website continues to show increased visitation with a peak of 2,337 unique visitors in January ’13. I’m going to try to do a better job giving skiers the ability to post images and videos. I also need to get social media ramped up.

We had a much better season than the previous year. Skiing began around Christmas and went through early April with the last groom on 3/28. We had our usual late January thaw that decimated the base but the Art Roscoe Loppet was still able to take place the next week on the upper loops. Despite very limited resources and Chad’s bad leg break, park personnel were able to groom on a regular basis with few missed opportunities. I hope to debrief with park personnel in the days ahead, as well as look at equipment needs for the upcoming season.

Art Roscoe’s daughter, Joyce Roscoe Sheffield, and her son, Mick Sheffield

Art Roscoe’s daughter, Joyce Roscoe Sheffield, and her son, Mick Sheffield

I met Art Roscoe’s daughter, Joyce Roscoe Sheffield, and her son, Mick Sheffield, at the Art Roscoe Loppet in February. They have made generous financial contributions to AN and are grateful for the stewardship we have rendered. It was a very heartwarming meeting. I may be visiting him in Kinnebunkport, ME in September… more to follow when I get back.

At the Allegany State Park Historical Society in January I met Hugh Dunne, retired Park Superintendent, who built much of the trail system with the help of Daniel Pihlbald. He is a current park advisory board member and Salamanca resident. I hope to videotape an interview of Hugh for archival purposes sometime in the next year. If anyone has the equipment and production skills to make this happen, I’d be grateful for your help.

We need to get out on the trail for reconnaissance and light work. We expect the park will be finishing work begun last year on culverts and renovations. The wet spring undoubtedly was a challenge for completing the work and hopefully did not damage the trails.

WNYMBA is building single track mountain bike trails off the Art Roscoe Trails. I’m not sure of the status of the new trails but I’m making an inquiry as I write: WNYMBA map

Widening our volunteer base is imperative. Here’s a list of some specific areas where we need help:
Grant-research and writing
Summit hats/shirts sales fundraising & development
Social and event organization
Steering committee/board members
Last, but not least…. grooming equipment is barely adequate and our resources very thin… fundraising will be an important thrust for Allegany Nordic going forward.
Photography & videography
Youth development?
Please email if you can help in any of these areas of ones I haven’t mentioned.

We have accomplished much since we organized. Many people have stepped forward with financial contributions, trail work and other support. We have 160 individuals in our email list. We’ve realized improvements in grooming and trail conditions and the park has stepped up its attention to the trails. There’s more to be done but cross-country skiing is something we all love. Let’s make it all it can be.

Thanks for your continued support. Stay well and I look forward to seeing you all on the trails.

Trail grant update- Dec 2012

4 skiers met with park officials on Tuesday 12/4 to discuss the trail grant, equipment and share information. Skiers: Rob Walk, Chuck Walker, Andy Dickson, Jack Luzier. ASP: Brad Whitcomb, Gary Quattrone, John Snyder, Darrin Bierfeldt.

Park officials updated us on trail grant and degraded condition of Snow Snake:
– $50,000 grant received by park to renovate X-C trails.
– $42K of $50K expended already; $8K available to finish work next year.
– Only 2 of 40+ culverts installed.
– October very wet- 5″ rain.
– Excavator operator(s) inexperienced.
– It is unlikely the park will attempt any remediation of SS before the ski season.
– If the conditions do not improve on Snow Snake, closure is a possibility for the upcoming season.

We requested that wheeled vehicles (except ATVs, Gators, etc.) be prohibited on the tails.

The status of the Cat was discussed. Park officials maintain that the Cat still has relatively few hours (1,700) and should be in good repair for the upcoming season.

The status of the Warming Hut concession operator was discussed. Warming Hut rentals and concessions did not open last season. The park expects he will be open this winter.

Park officials indicated that grooming staff and resources are sufficient and in line with previous seasons.

The information given to us at the meeting and the degraded condition of Snow Snake lead us to conclude:
1) Grant trail work was not properly supervised.
2) Only a relatively small amount of work was accomplished but a majority of the grant proceeds have been expended.
3) Much of the work needed to finish the excavated ditching on SS including dozing and grading will not be done before the upcoming ski season.
4) Back-blading attempted by park crew around 11/7 to address rutting mixed leaves with dirt/mud and has created additional problems.
5) Ditching in some needed areas was missed while unnecessary ditching was done in some areas where little run-off occurs.
6) ASP lacks appropriate equipment to maintain the trails. Tracked (not wheeled) equipment/tractors are needed to prevent rutting.
7) The park appears unable to keep up with the required maintenance of the trails with current budget and personnel.

A walk in the park… or a run!- 10/25/12
If you haven’t been able to make one of our trail workdays, schedule your own! Multi-task on your favorite Art Roscoe Trail before the snow flies- exercise and remove debris the trail.

11/26- The Anderjack’s from Bath, NY did some clean-up on Chrisitian Hollow on Sunday

There is a lot of debris on the trails from the recent heavy winds. We were able to clean up some of the trail on our 11/3 workday. However, there’s more to do before the trails are skiable. While there may still big blow-downs on each trail that only the park can cut up and remove, limbs and branches that one or two people can lift off the trail still need to be removed from Christian Hollow and Ridge Run.

Limbs need to be pushed back or pulled to the other side of the trail. The Cat requires wide clearance for grooming and the farther back the debris can be moved, the better. Bring your camera and update us on what you accomplished in this post. Send pictures of anything

If a dozen of us can each hike or run the trails in the next two weeks and remove debris along the way, the trails will be ship-shape for skiing. Please help if you can!

For more information on trail conditions, visit the Snow Snake- Fall 2012 page.

Trail Workday Scheduled Sat 11/3/12
Next Saturday trek to the park for an AN trail extravaganza!!! Maybe we’ll mop up after Hurricane Sandy devastates the trail system… maybe we’ll just ride the trails and admire the park’s handiwork implementing the trail improvement grant… maybe (probably) it will probably be something in between.

We’ll meet at the summit at 9AM, Saturday 11/3. Bring a bright colored jacket, gloves, bike, lots of fluids and lunch for when we return around the noon hour. Please RSVP with a cell phone number so I know who to contact in the event of a last minute logistical twist.

Hope you’re all well and chomping at the bit for a great ski season.

September 27, 2012- ASP Receives $50,000 Grant for Trails!
A $50,000 grant has been received by Allegany State Park for the renovation of the Art Roscoe Cross Country Ski Trails. Proceeds will be used for ditching, grading, culvert replacements & additions, and forestry. Work is already underway and expected to be completed before the 2012-13 ski season. This video footage of work in progress was shot 9/25/12.

These improvements to the trails will be a huge step forward for the skiing program at the Park. Allegany Nordic volunteers and park personnel have not been able to keep up with the work required to keep water and debris off the trail. Grant proceeds will not only stop many of the problems in well-known areas of the trail but also upgrade some areas identified as potential problems. It will also make the skiing experience better and safer, as well as make the trails easier and safer for Park crews to groom the trails.

News of the trail grant comes on the heels of a string of other recent successes for the cross-country skiing program at Allegany State Park. Summit storage for trails-side storage of grooming equipment became a reality last fall. A new Scandic snowmobile was purchased last year by the Park and is available for grooming. Allegany Nordic has raised over $7,000 and donated grooming implements to the park. The Allegany Nordic website now provides valuable and timely information to skiers far and wide (1800 unique visitors last January). Cumulatively these individual successes paint a very promising picture not only for our trail system, but cross-country skiing in general in WNY.

Allegany Nordic has been central to these successes. We are paying attention, we are donating time and money and we are advocating. The generosity and presence of donors and trail volunteers is being noticed. Thanks to all of you who have contributed. And thanks to Park management and crews who maintain the trails and facilities.

Thoughts To Hold Us Over Until Next Year
Editors Note: I received this note from Wayne Forest during March 2012 along with his second contribution to the capital campaign. I thought I should share it with all of you.

Wayne Forest at the Christian Hollow overlook

Unfortunately I was only able to ski Art Roscoe Trails once this season. The memories of that morning are still vivid in my mind and have me wanting more… the outstanding trail conditions on Sweetwater, Christian Hollow and Leonard; the beautiful vista view (picture), the doe that shared the trail with me for a few moments, the quietness, the spills and thrills getting down the Ridge and the sense of accomplishment after gripping and gliding up Patterson. Looking forward to next year and introducing Art Roscoe to my wife and friends.

Many thanks to you and the trail grooming and maintenance crew!!!

Updates From 1/6/12 Meeting with Park Officials
Present: Chad Herrick, John Snyder, Jack Luzier & Andy Dickson

AN asked for the meeting to discuss the upcoming ski season and share our priorities for the ASP ski program.

John is agreeable to posting on a regular basis to the AN site about immediate and anticipated grooming activity.

The Cat will return to service sometime around 1/18. All track wheels will be replaced at a cost to the park of about $5,000. Tracks and old wheels have been removed and the Cat is ready to be worked on as soon as the new wheels arrive. We asked John to address grooming equipment maintenance in the Fall.

Initial grooming was done with two Scandics. The roller performed well and was able to be pulled by one sled. However, on two hills the Scandic had difficulty. We shared strategies on how and when to use the single tracksetters to compliment the Cat grooming or lieu of the Cat. We are reminded that both the Scandics and the Cat are nearing the end of their useful lives. John reiterated that, if AN can purchase a new Scandic, he will assure us that it will only be used for grooming operations and the park will assume full responsibility for maintaining it. He recently was quoted $10,500 for a new Scandic. We expressed that we are not in position presently to purchase a Scandic and asked that the park not back away from funding the capital needs of the ski program despite our interest in supplementing the capital needs.

We asked that Snowsnake be groomed as wide as possible to allow extra width for downhill skiers to snowplow without ruining uphill tracks. We also asked that grooming be continued as long as coverage remains, especially since the single tracksetter(s) can easily be used late into the season.

The Warming hut will be opened daily at 8:00AM by park staff and closed late in the day by park police. The Bova gate requires a new lock to prevent snowmobilers from opening it and accessing the trails.

John advised that Chad and Pat Dove are the only staff available for grooming and Pat is a part-time employee. No budget impacts are know by John that will prevent the park from providing the same level of grooming as last year. Chad remains enthusiastic and flexible about his grooming duties and we reaffirmed our appreciation of this and willingness to assist in any way possible.

Summit Storage Progress Report

December 30, 2011

The summit storage building is now complete! Doors have been installed and the building is ready for this winter’s grooming operations.

Summit storage for grooming equipment has been a priority for several years. Trail-side storage will result in operating efficiencies and more timely grooming. In previous years grooming equipment has been stored at the Red House operations barn nearly two miles from the nearest trail access.

Funding for the building was provided through the capital projects account of J-Con Parks, concession operator at several parks including the Warming Hut.

Be sure to thank park officials and John Marino when you see them!

Fall Open House & Ski Swap Saturday 11/5
Save the date- Saturday 11/5- when Allegany Nordic will host an open house and ski swap at the Summit Warming Hut. Stop by between 10-2. Ski swap will take place from 11-1.

Summit storage construction is underway

The day of fun and camaraderie at ASP will include:

Summit storage construction a/o 10/21/11
o Christening the new trail roller and conveying it to the park
o Inspect the new summit storage building
o Turn you used ski equipment into cash at the ski swap
o Tip a glass of cider and renew your skiing friendships
o Run or hike the newly renovated trails
o Pick up your new AN race suit

We are on target to have one of the best ski season’s in recent memory. Join your ski buddies for this pre-season pep rally!

Volunteers are needed to oversee refreshments, staff the ski swap and sell merchandise.

Eight AmeriCorps employees assisted Allegany Nordic with maintenance work on the Art Roscoe Trails at Allegany State Park. The crew worked for three days in late July (2011) restoring drainage, removing debris and cutting back encroaching vegetation.

AmeriCorps employees Ethan Weston, Kelly Gavin, Brian Purcell, Stacey Hightower, Katelyn Almeter, Kyle Cox, Nik Potopchuck and Brendon Scherer were assisted by Allebany Nordic members Andy Dickson, Ray Valeri, Sue Wysse, Bill Weitzel and Mary Lou Deitrich.

Americorps volunteers ready for action

“It is strenuous work,” said Andy Dickson. “These tireless helpers got a lot of work done around the trail system. Allegany Nordic is extremely grateful for their effort which will pay a big dividend in the upcoming ski season.”

Allegany State Park donated the use of two cabins for the group during their service. Food and refreshments were donated by an area charity and Allegany Nordic.

Allegany Nordic organized four years ago to address deteriorating trail and ski conditions. Its mission is to advance the sport of cross-country skiing on the Art Roscoe Trails of the Allegany State Park. Since its inception, Allegany Nordic has organized volunteers every year to address much-needed work around the trail system including unplugging culverts, re-establishing ditches, moving fallen trees off the trail and cutting back branches that have grown into the trail. It draws park and government attention to trails issues, collaborates with regional organizations, promotes the skiing program and is currently fundraising to purchase new grooming equipment. During the ski season, Allegany Nordic maintains a website with current information about grooming and trail conditions.

Its next trail workday will be August 20th. Volunteers are welcome and will meet at the Art Roscoe trailhead at 8:45AM. For more information, visit

Allegany Nordic met with park officials on May 20th to review the past season, share updates and peer into the future. Here’s a summary of the meeting:

Friday May 20, 2011
In attendance: Ray Valeri, Jack Luzier, Andy Dickson, John Snyder, Brad Whitcomb and Gary Quattrone.

Summit Storage
Project is moving ahead and expected to be built around September. Materials to be paid for by J-Con Parks (concessionaire) and built by park employees. Location of storage building will be in the back of one of the parking lots away from Warming Hut where electricity is already available. No waxing room planned as part of that structure. Other waxing options were discussed but nothing agreed upon. Warming Hut renovation and expansion is in the long range plan and ideas were discussed.

Trail Restoration
Some work has already been performed by park including tree removal and York raking but wet conditions are a hindrance. Significant trail-wide renovation will take place this summer by ASP road crews with heavy equipment.

Lean-To Reconstruction
We received approval from the park to proceed with rebuilding the Ridge Lean-To. Fellow skier, Tim Houseknecht, has agreed to try to make it happen. Tim located plans used by the CYC to build lean-tos many years ago and which closely resemble the lean-to that once stood on Ridge. Our request was made back in February. The go-ahead was slow in coming and the resources identified for the project may no longer be available. More to follow.

The park is considerably handicapped by financial and personnel reductions. However, they represented that their intention is to groom no less than last season. John Snyder, the new Red House Manager, seems enthusiastic and we look forward to working with him. We thanked the park for last year’s effort but expressed frustration about the lack of resources and irregular grooming. AN hopes to recognize Chad and Pat for their willingness to flex their hours and groom as best they can.

No new snowmobile will be purchased by the park. Depending on the outcome of the AN fundraising campaign, we may at least be able to pay for needed maintenance to the Scandic.

AN Fundraising
We updated the park on our fundraising effort and the equipment we have identified for acquisition. We also asked the park to consider under what circumstances we can fundraise at the summit during the ski season.

Chainsaw Training
The park indicated we must take a chainsaw safety class in order to use this equipment on the trails. Brad will find out the date/time of the next offering and share with us.

ASP is now on Facebook. There are more than one Facebook site on the park and the “official” site has “AlleganyStatePark” as one word in the URL. They seem genuinely enthused about it and our members on Facebook would do well to follow the park. We thanked ASP for posting directly to our site and encouraged them to continue even if they are using Facebook and they agreed to do so.

On Saturday 4/30/11 Jack Luzier and I surveyed the damage and erosion on Patterson. Some of the damage is the result of lack of trail maintenance, such as plugged culverts and accumulated debris in the ditch.

Jack Luzier inspects trail damage

Some of the erosion is the result of the truck tracks from last Fall’s missing-person search effort. The vehicle ruts prevent water from draining off the side of the trail and channel it down the length of the trail. On sloped trail, the running water does considerable damage.

We unplugged four culverts and dug temporary water bars to prevent further damage. However, all we were able to do was stop the water from flowing down the trail. The extensive rutting caused by erosion cannot be fixed with hand tools. Extensive repair of the trail damage is necessary with heavy machinery. System-wide ditch clearing is also needed to prevent this kind of trail damage from spreading.

We need detailed information on the damage to other trails around the system including photos and specific locations. Post your comments and trail information here. Send trail photos to

1399 unique visitors hit the AN website in January 2011. That’s a 21% increase from the previous year!


22k gets underway. Photo courtesy of Terry Wherry/Buffalo Photo CD

Sunday, February 6th brought racers from all over Western NY to the park for a great day of racing. Conditions were tricky and fast, but so were the times that were turned in.

39 racers competed in the 22K race; 31 raced the 13k; and 14 finished the 5k. If you’ve never tried a cross-country ski race, this is the best chance you’ll ever have. It’s fun and only as competitive as you want it to be.

Take a moment to view the great event photos at BuffaloPhotoCD

Volunteer Spotlight: Bill Weitzel

Bill Weitzel is a life-long resident of the area and friend of the park. He is a resident of Salamanca meat-cutter at the local supermarket. He’s also the owner of Jerico Ranch, which is a cabin-rental business on the park’s edge on Upper State Park Ave., just below Stone Tower.

Jerico Ranch is close enough to the park that he can hop on his snowmobile to check out the summit activities. You might have seen him at the Warming Hut shoveling snow and keeping the place ship-shape for skiers.

Bill keeps a close eye on the park and is active with the Allegany State Park Historical Society. If you every wonder why something is the way it is in the park, ask Bill. He’s usually got it figured out. He a wealth of knowledge and knows not only the Art Roscoe Trail system, but hiking, snowshoe, snowmobile and even a couple decommissioned trails that are worth exploring.

Bill has been helpful to Allegany Nordic and has good reason to make sure the skiing program thrives. He’s helped us navigate the complex landscape that is ASP. Next time you see Bill, thank him for his service to the park and AN.

Skiers donate picnic table

A special thanks goes out to the Bradford gang of skiers who donated the picnic table at the CH-Ridge-Leonard intersection.

These volunteers bought, delivered and assembled the picnic table that is there for all skiers to enjoy.

Pictured here are L > R: Mark Pappas, Gary Falk & Dave Hoffman. Missing is Randy Walb.

Thanks, guys!

Join your Allegany Nordic friends for an evening of fun, food and friendship on Friday, February 11th. Enjoy the Park’s Beauty by nearly full Moon light and headlamp!

When: Friday 2/11 from 6-9pm
Where: Art Roscoe Trails and the trail head Warming Hut
Bring: Skis, snowshoes, dish & beverages to pass, headlamp

Coffee, Tea & Hot Chocolate will be provided.

Part of the Moonlighting XCSki & Snowshoe Series

Off-season updates- Dec 10, 2010
A lot of hard work by AN volunteers and park personnel in the off season is paying a dividend. The adage “Two steps forward, one step back” again describes our trials and tribulations.

- Because of the difficult NYS budget situation, the prospects for trail grooming have been almost dizzying. From our spring ’10 protest to keep trail grooming from being axed, to the park asking us to consider assuming trail grooming, to the park withdrawing their grooming request, to our October meeting with Catharine Young and park officials to bring more certainty to our ski program… the subject of trail grooming has consumed a great deal of our time. As it stands as of today, the park plans to groom trails to the extent they groomed last year. However, a new governor and park administration, a yawning deficit in the current budget year ending 3/31/11, and a hiring freeze and personnel losses throughout the park system all are working against us. We will continue to work closely with the park and keep you all informed as things unfold.

- This is the bright spot for the skiing program. We have pressed hard and it now appears that summit storage will be in place for the current year for both the LCM Cat, Skidoo Scandic and grooming implements. The time and cost savings of having the equipment trail-side will be significant and the timeliness of grooming should improve. No longer will the equipment have to be stored at the Red House operations area and driven miles to the trails each time grooming is necessary. AN worked closely with the park and the concession operator J Con Parks to make storage a reality. J Con Parks and the park will foot the bill for the entire project. This season the building will be temporarily located and placed on a permanent foundation next year.

Our effort to have portions of Patterson and Ridge renovated were frustrated by a severe blow-down event in July on Ridge near the Bova access. Park personnel worked hard to cut up the numerous down trees and salvage the wood. Whereas the park might have been able to schedule a dozer for our original concerns, they were only able to get the dozer to perform remediation of the damage caused by the blow-down event. In addition, the search/rescue operations in November for the lost hiker resulted in considerable damage to Sweetwater and the Sweetwater-CH intersection. The park’s intentions of renovating this damage were frustrated by wet weather which quickly changed to winter. So there will be some added problems to the trail system rather than net improvement. We will continue to follow this matter and keep you posted.

In the mean time, enjoy the restored view at the CH overlook and picnic table thanks to our persistent nagging and some hard work by park crews.

Finally, AN volunteers put in some tough hours cutting back encroaching vegetation and moving fallen debris. Much of Snowsnake has been cut-back. We also moved the snow fence near the CH overlook and the severe drifting problem might be in retreat. Thanks to all who helped.

Christian Hollow Overlook Restored- Dec 7, 2010
ASP crews have restored the Christian Hollow overlook. This has been a priority of AN for several years. Due to our persistence and the hard work of the ASP crew, we have reason to celebrate!

A picnic table has been placed at the overlook for the enjoyment of trail users. Enjoy the view on your next visit and be sure to thank park personnel.

Off-season updates- Nov 27, 2009
The 2009 off-season has been productive for Allegany Nordic. Below is a summary of our activities and priorities as we enter the 2009-10 season:

April social function. We sponsored a well-attended social function to thank Red House operations personnel and contemplate our priorities for the future (see post below “Trail & Grooming Priorities Identified”)
Trail workdays. Three volunteer workdays addressed trail drainage problems, vegetation cut-back and trail pick-up. 17 volunteers showed up to address trail issues at our 11/7 workday.
Advocacy with park management. We continue to maintain high visibility with park management. At a spring meeting we articulated concerns about grooming and trail management and requested attention to several important priorities. Our trail workday on 11/7 included a sit-down with Gary Quattrone, Red House Manager, to receive updates on our priorities, as well as park and state budgets and the upcoming ski season.
Advocacy with elected representatives. We initiated a strategy for our members to articulate their concerns about the state budget and park closings.
Publicity. We purchased $200 of advertising in the Ellicottville weeklies and issued press releases about our activities.
Operating funds and fundraising. AN has about $1700 in our checking account, as well as several hundred dollars worth of hats and toques. The Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation stands ready to receive charitable contributions to Allegany Nordic should we undertake fund raising.
Despite all our work, much remains to be done. Below are updates on the status of our priorities:

Trail renovation & drainage. The park has taken no steps to address trail erosion and drainage problems. Only the work of Allegany Nordic members during our volunteer workdays in the last two years has kept the problems at bay. The biggest issues will require heavy equipment and park initiative.
Overlook restoration. The park has begun to reopen vistas in the park as part of a state-wide initiative. However, priority has been given to those vistas accessible by car, as they receive more visitors. Despite our advocacy for clearing the Christain Hollow overlook, its status remains uncertain at this time.
Ridge leanto. The leanto has been demolished. Again, we have advocated for its replacement but there is no clear plan to rebuild it. Volunteers to drive this priority are needed
Summit storage for grooming equipment. This remains a park priority but no funding exists. The possibility exists that a private initiative may be under way outside our group to build a storage garage. We are trying to confirm this and will update you as more information becomes available.
Grooming equipment. Again the park’s request for a new Scandic snowmobile has been declined. We have been assured the problem which side-lined the cat last year has been repaired and it is ready for the upcoming season.
Grooming quality. A number if problems were experienced last year including soft/unpacked trail shoulders, soft tracks, tracks set on top of previous tracks, washboard bumps, etc. Red House personnel have articulated a strategy to improve grooming in 2009-10. When new snow has fallen or when renovation is necessary, they will be using the cat for packing/renovation and the snowmobile will be following close behind pulling the tracksetter.
Trail signage to reduce/divert snowmobile and dog access to the Art Roscoe Trails. No progress has been made by AN. Volunteers are needed to create a signage plan and get it implemented.
Still other areas of AN activity need more participation. The website had considerable visitation last year (600 unique visitors in the month of January ‘09) but very few skiers posted trail reports. We took a big step in December ‘09 to facilitate better and more timely reporting by registering the URL and upgrading the website to allow skiers to post trail conditions directly to the site. The site will only work if skiers post trail reports.

Finally, as we look ahead, there is a great deal of uncertainty for the Art Roscoe Trials and the cross-country skiing program as our state government tries to deal with its budget crisis. We have struggled in our brief existence to restore the park’s focus to the rich history of skiing at ASP. Any reduction to the program may never be restored without additional heavy lifting by our group. If we incrementally widen our participation and volunteerism, cross-country skiing at ASP may be secure.

Trail & Grooming Priorities Identified- September 27th, 2009
At the 4/24 event, attendees contemplated and ranked trail and grooming-related priorities. Each person placed a “1″ next to their highest priority project, a “2″ next to their second highest priority, “3″ and “4.” Each “1″ was assigned 4 points; each “2″ was given 3 points, etc. and points were tallied. Below is a list of projects preceded by their respective points and followed by initials of AN members willing to help on each:

3- GIS mapping, culvert marking, etc. KC, MH
12- Trail signage prohibiting snowmobiles, dogs, snowshoing CW
40- Trail drainage- culverts, ditches WS, JT, AR, DP, KC, RV
12- Trail grading/leveling
18- Christian Hollow overlook restoration RW, AR, JT, CW, DP, TH
11- Vegetation cut-backs: Snowsnake, etc. AD, JT
0- Snowdrift plantings- Christian Hollow & Snowsnake AD
23- Rebuild Ridge Leanto TH, RW, AR, JL, CW, DP, LS, BB
0- Training ASP grooming staff- clinics, periodicals, in-services
0- Weld snow rudders on cat track setter DP
8- Roller for snowmobile packing (Fundraising!) BB, LS
20- Snowmobile renovation drag/GINSU Groomer (Fundraising!) BB, LS
8- Summit storage, fueling for equipment (Fundraising!) BB, LS
1- Incorporate

The following projects were assumed to be on-going or requiring little group effort and were included in the list above: 1) Resume skate grooming on Stone Tower and Snow Snake trails; 2) Christian Hollow overlook picnic table; 3) Trail workdays.

Are there other high priority projects? Networking? Development? Legislative?

How do you interpret the point values? Are some projects related?

17 Volunteers make 11/7 trail workday a success
Allegany Nordic made a strong showing Saturday 11/7 for trail work and a pow wow with Gary Quattrone, Red House Manager. Teams walked every trail expect the lower portion of Snow Snake, removed trail debris and cut back vegitation.

Left to right: Andy Dickson, Ray Valeri, Bert Schweigert, Robin Valeri, Bill Scherman, Gary Quattrone, Shawn McKane, Jacl Luzier, Chuck Walker, Richard Kendall, Rob Walk, Jerry McGinty and Aaron Rimmer. Missing from photo are Karen Schweigert, Garth Johnston, Bradley Schottin, Doug Price and Allen Knowles.

Second Trail Workday Scheduled for Saturday 7/25chaingang
Lots more remains to be done around the trail system. Face-slappers and drainage need attention around most of the trail system.

Bring a picnic lunch, bike, frisbee, fly rod and family. After our morning work we’ll enjoy each other and the rest of the day around the Red House area.

First Trail Workday A Walk in the Parkworkday1
A walk on Patterson and Sweetwater trails, to be exact. Allegany Nordic sponsored its first trail workday of the 2009 season on Saturday, June 13th. Six Allegany Nordic members turned out to restore drainage and cut back vegetation on Sweetwater and Ridge Run trails of the Art Roscoe Trail system at Allegany State Park.

Allegany Nordic members [left to right] Steve Abdella, Chris Smith, Robin Valeri, Aaron Rimmer, Jack Luzier and Andy Dickson.

April 24, 2009- Allegany Nordic Thanks ASP Employees
robins-cake-2Allegany Nordic thanked the Red House employees for their contributions to the 2008-08 ski season with a picnic dinner at the Warming Hut on Friday 4/24.

About 20 park employees and 20 Allegany Nordic members enjoyed the summer-like afternoon. Rob Walk and “sous Chef” Doug Price worked their magic on the charcoal grill. Among the most notable contributions was Robin Valeri’s chocolate cake complete with the Allegany Nordic logo.

As a token of our appreciation we gave AN hats to ASP trail groomers Chad Herrick, Dan Butcher, Bob Howard and Pat Halterman, as well as Red House Manager Gary Quattrone.finish-the-keg2

Thanks to AN stalwarts Steve Abdella, Bud Brooks, Kevin Casey & Melissa Kiss-My-Klister, Jack Luzier, Aaron Rimmer, Larry Scherer, Bill Scherman, Bert & Karen Schweigert, Janet Chew, Robin & Ray Valeri, Betsy Price, Chuck & Edna Walker, Rob & Jean Walk, Mary Lou Dietrich and Joe Tocke. Special thanks to Chris Smith who has reported for more AN activities than most and has yet to ski the Art Roscoe Trails in the last year.

January 20, 2009- AN Declined for Parks & Trails NY Grant; Receives Anonymous $3,000 Gift
Although Allegany Nordic did not receive the $3,000 applied for through Park & Trails NY, we received a generous gift of the same amount from an anonymous Olean-area benefactor. Proceeds of the gift will be used to fund start-up expenses for the organization.

Oct 31, 2008- Allegany Nordic Applies For Capacity-Building Grant
Thanks to the heads-up of Lisa Schmidtfrerick, we were able to submit a $3,000 capacity-building grant application on behalf of Allegany Nordic. Jack Luzier and Rob Walk rounded up letters of support from various chambers of commerce and helped get the application out. Grant awards will be made 1/12/09.

Oct 5, 2008- Allegany Nordic Skiers Restore Art Roscoe Trails
Eleven members of Allegany Nordic volunteered their time and effort on Saturday, October 5th, to restore the Art Roscoe Trails at Allegany State Park. Trail wash-outs were remedied and plugged drainage culverts were dug and unclogged.
Saturday’s effort was the second volunteer trail work day sponsored by Allegany Nordic this fall. Additional work will be scheduled by the group in October and November. Volunteers came from Edinboro, PA, Jamestown, Olean, Fredonia and Buffalo, Great Valley and Cuba.

Volunteer trail restoration work has been necessary to remedy damage resulting form heavy rains and deferred maintenance. Work has been performed primarily on Ridge Run and Patterson trails.

The group has located and mapped 50+ drainage culverts around the trail system. It has also provided numerous hours of volunteer service clearing fallen debris from dead or dying trees and cutting back encroaching vegitation.

Mar 28, 2008- ASP Acquires New Gooming Equipment!
ASP has acquired a Sno-Razor 72 and two track-setters. Equipment has been purchased, assembled and is ready to use.